Bradford Literature Festival triumphs at the White Rose Awards, as it achieves taking home the Tourism event of the year trophy.

White Rose Awards recognises stars in Yorkshire’s tourism industry from arts and culture to events and attractions, accommodation, food and drink.

This year, we saw the team behind the Bradford Literature Festival cheerful when they picked up the award at a ceremony in Harrogate Monday night.

Hailed as one of the most inspirational festivals in the UK, were up against other venues and event such as The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink festival, Scarborough Open Air Theatres, Hallowscream at York Maze, and A Thornton Hall Farm Christmas Adventure.

Festival Director, Syima Aslam, said: “I’m incredibly proud that the festival has won Tourism event of the year.

“The vision for the festival has always been to create a national and international destination festival and this year we attracted more than 70,000 attendees from as far afield as Canada and Pakistan to London and Edinburgh.

“Given we started in 2014 with nothing more than a passion for Bradford, a love of books, and a burning desire to create an amazing festival, this is a tremendous accolade not just for BLF but also for the city and all our sponsors and funders who’s belief in us has made this possible.

“This award demonstrates that Bradford truly is the cultural heart of Yorkshire, and should be on everybody’s list of ‘places to visit’ in 2019.”

The team behind the festival, which has been running in the city since 2014, celebrate written and spoken word by inviting world-renowned authors, musicians and artists to visit Bradford and share their expertise with an audience.

More than a thousand people attended, including stars from Yorkshire football and cricket, Great British Bake Off, and record-breaking racing star Mark Johnston attended the awards ceremony at the Harrogate Convention Centre to find out the winners of 17 awards.

Performances by Mercury nominee Kate Rusby, the Yorkshire Regiment, Queen Margaret’s Performing Arts Choir and Huddersfield dance troop Scandalous Productions also took place.

They also saw England manager Gareth Southgate be named an ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’ in recognition of his achievements with the England football team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and his dedication to Yorkshire which has now been his home for almost 20 years.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said on the night: “Every single winner and finalist this evening deserves huge congratulations, they are all stars of Yorkshire and the UK’s tourism industry and should be incredibly proud of their achievements.

“Yorkshire has some of the best food and drink, accommodation, arts and attractions in the world thanks to the fantastic effort of our members and I hope they are as proud as we are of everything we achieve together to keep our county a number one visitor destination.”

Chairman of the independent panel of judges, Professor Colin Mellors said: “It has been another tremendous year for Yorkshire tourism.

“The sector makes a vital contribution to the region’s economy and its reputation and the White Rose Awards are our annual opportunity to recognise and celebrate the very best of Yorkshire hospitality.”

Full list of winners:

Arts and Culture Award: Leeds Playhouse

Business Tourism Award: Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate

Holiday Park of the Year: Vale of Pickering Caravan Park

Guest Accommodation of the Year: Cambridge House, Reeth

Inns and Restaurants with Rooms: Estbek House, Sandsend

Large Attraction of the Year: Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley

Large Hotel of the Year: The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey

Outstanding Customer Service Award: Team York Maze

Producers and Makers Award: Tipple Tails, Sheffield

Pub of the Year: The Dunkirk, Denby Dale

Restaurant of the Year: Skosh, York

Self-catering Accommodation: Broadgate Farm Cottages, Beverley

Small Attraction of the Year: Grimm & Co, Rotherham

Small Hotel of the Year: Brocco on the Park, Sheffield

Taste of Yorkshire Award: Yummy Yorkshire, Denby Dale

Tourism Event of the Year: Bradford Literature Festival

Visitor Information Award: Aysgarth Falls Tourist Information Centre

Full Highly Commended list:

Arts & Culture Award: Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds; Settle Victoria Hall

Holiday Park of the Year: Swaledale Yurts, Keld

Guest Accommodation of the Year: Eighteen97, Goathland

Large Attraction of the Year: Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax

Large Hotel of the Year: Gisborough Hall Hotel, Guisborough

Outstanding Customer Service Award: The Ellerby Country Inn

Producers and Makers Award: Haxby Bakehouse

Pub of the Year: The Railway Inn, New Ellerby

Self-catering: Accommodation: Grand Get-Togethers, Sherburn

Small Attraction of the Year: Middleton Railway Trust, Leeds

Small Hotel of the Year: Beck Hall, Malham

Taste of Yorkshire Award: Bert’s Barrow, Hillam